How to Win at Keno?

to Win at Keno

Many think Keno is one of those games which don’t require any skill to win and are purely random. However, even though Keno is not likely to give you big wins, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to raise your odds.

Tips on How to Win at Keno

During my last summer vacation, I accidentally lost a great deal of money. My friends and I then decided that I should go and gamble with the money I had left, to try and make up for the loss. So we went to the nearest brick-and-mortar casino and decided to play Keno.

I didn’t even know it was Keno. It was just a bunch of random numbers on the screen. We asked the casino host about the rules, and without even listening to him until the end, I wagered almost all the money I had on random numbers.

Several draws later, and I came out of the casino penniless. On the bright side, my friends bought me a beer.

However, this experience made me become more careful with my money and read further about Keno. I understood that you couldn’t just enter any casino and become a millionaire. Unfortunately, Keno is a game known mostly for low odds of winning. However, if it were impossible to win at, it wouldn’t exist in the first place. So here are several tips that can prove helpful in case you decide to test your luck by playing Keno. But before we discuss this, let’s introduce the game first.

Keno Rules

How to Win at Keno

Keno is an old Chinese game, which came to the US with the Chinese immigrants in the 19th century. It has been part of the standard casino offer ever since. Furthermore, there’s an interesting story about Keno helping to build the Chinese wall. The legend has it that the Chinese states of the time understood that it would be necessary to raise taxes to pay the construction of the huge wall to stop the Mongolian raiders. Somebody then realised that it’s a better idea to invent a new game of chance. It seemed like a win-win scenario: people would have lots of fun, some of could get rich, and the state’s budget would be filled. They say that’s how Keno was born.

Whenever you see a grid with numbers from 1 to 80 on the screen, you will know it’s Keno. It is a dynamic game very similar to the lottery since 20 numbers are drawn every couple of minutes, by software or by a ball machine. Before the draw, you will buy a keno ticket, pick several numbers from 1 to 80, and hope that all of them are drawn. Usually, people can pick up to 10 numbers, but some casinos will allow players to pick even more. In any case, your winnings will depend on three factors:

  • the number of chosen digits
  • the number of correctly guessed digits
  • the amount wagered.

So the optimal situation is where you wagered as much as possible for as many as possible numbers and correctly guessed all of them.

Keno Winning Tips

While writing this article, we looked up what experienced Keno players usually do to maximise their odds and win at Keno. This is what we found out.

1. Where to Play?

Casinos are Keno’s home. There is a great offer of casinos nowadays, both brick-and-mortar and online ones. However, it is perhaps better to play at an online casino. The reason why is simple. Firstly, it is more comfortable, and software providers are always competing to better their Keno games with thrilling graphics to excite all your senses. Secondly, it is better for your wallet too because online casinos also tend to have lower house edges and higher payouts for guessing the numbers correctly. This essentially means that in the long run, players are more likely to win at online casinos.

However, in the end, it doesn’t matter if you play online or in your neighbourhood. However, what you should always do before playing is compare casinos’ offers. The parameters you should consider are the type of Keno they use, the maximum number of digits you can pick (usually it’s 10, but it can be more), payment rates, RTP numbers, etc.

In the end, the reputation of a casino, be it brick-and-mortar or online, is very important. There are lots of casinos involved in various fraudulent activities, like payment delay or ripping off their customers. Hence, you should ask around your place or read online reviews to be sure if the lounge you wish to play at is safe and reliable.

I did neither of this, and that was the first of my mistakes. Entering the first casino you see is the wrong way to go.

2. How to Begin?

My second mistake was that I immediately wagered real money, without actually knowing what I was playing. I thought it’s just another game where you pick random numbers. What’s there to learn?! Well, it would have been much better if I had first played several rounds just for fun, or just observed other players and saw how it worked. In essence, Keno sounds and looks simple, but like any other luck-based game, it has its specific rules that deserve your attention.

So before you become a Keno professional, you should first play just for fun. Remember to start off by putting small wagers and picking fewer numbers, so that you can’t lose much. The time for strategy and greater winnings will come after some practice.

3. How Many Numbers to Pick?

This is a crucial thing you should think about once you start mastering Keno. It is precisely here where the art of Keno lies. It’s not only a question of which numbers you should pick but how many as well. Amateurs, such as me last summer, think it is easy: the more numbers you select, the higher are the chances you will win. Actually, it’s not that simple.

The trick is in the fact that if you choose the maximum numbers allowed, you will notice that the limit for breaking even also rises. For example, if you wager on 10 numbers, you will need to guess at least 5 to get any significant winnings. But if you wager 8, your chances of guessing drop a little, but at the same time, your bottom limit for profit will be 4 or even less.  And most importantly, take care of the relation between the number of digits you guess before the draw and the number of accurately guessed digits.

Now, let me present to you a decent casino offer. For example, if you successfully guess 6 numbers, there will be a big difference between your winnings in cases where you picked a total of 6, 7 or 8 numbers. If you are so fortunate to guess 6 out of 6, the casino will pay out 75 times of your wager per number. In that regard, if you guess 6 out of 7 numbers, you will receive 36 times the bet. And finally, if you decided to pick 8 numbers and you guess 6, you will win only 19 times the original wager.

Experienced keno players would call this a good offer. Unfortunately, most betting places have it lower. So these limits and offers will differ from casino to casino, which is why it is very important to know them well before playing

4. Which Numbers to Pick?

This is the second most important strategy for Keno. Some believe that the cold/hot number strategy or choosing consecutive numbers could help you win easier.

To elaborate, cold numbers are those which haven’t popped out for some time, for example, in the previous 15 rounds. In that sense, some players think that playing on them increases their chances of winning, while others think it is best to avoid them and play on the hot ones.

But let’s face the facts. The numbers are drawn randomly, and there are 3535316142212170000 possible combinations. So the numbers you saw in the previous 15 rounds are only a slight proportion of everything that could happen.

Moreover, the same stands for the consecutive numbers strategy, where you choose sets of numbers in succession, like 40, 41, 43, etc. But whatever you do, you just can’t outmaneuver the RNG (Random Number Generator). Keno is, after all, a game of luck.

And that is why most of the players are aware of its randomness and stick to their lucky numbers, license numbers, birth dates, bus numbers, etc.

5. Use Multi-Race Keno Cards

This is perhaps one of the most useful Keno strategies. Multi-race Keno card allows you to play many rounds with the same set of numbers. And since we’ve already concluded that it doesn’t really matter which numbers you choose, you can take one combination and play on it repeatedly. The good thing about Multi-race Keno cards is that they will provide a discount because you are about to play multiple rounds. So for example, the minimum wager for one game could be $1, whereas a multi-race ticket would grant you 20 games for $6 or so.

Put simply, you don’t have to bother with picking the number combination every time, and it saves lots of money, which you can use for playing more games.

6. Find Keno with a Progressive Jackpot

Even though we saw Keno is not such an easy way to win money, playing it online brings the possibility of winning jackpots, which is probably one of the reasons people tend to choose to play at online casinos in the first place. And if you’re already wagering your money, why not wager it where you can win massive jackpots?

7. Have Fun!

Whatever you choose — to play online with thrilling graphics, or to go to a lounge bar and socialize with your neighbours — remember that your primary goal is to have fun. After all, this is what all the casino games are for.


Even though Keno odds aren’t in your favour, people still win at this casino game. So if you are careful and stick to our tips, you just have to pick your winning numbers and just wait for the money to come. Happy betting!

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